Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Book Review: The Vogue and Butterick Step-byStep Guide to Sewing Techniques

The Vogue/Butterick Step-by-Step Guide to Sewing Techniques by the editors of Vogue and Butterick Patterns Published in 1989 ISBN: 0-13-944125-5
Some Chapter Headings:
  • Applique
  • Bindings
  • Collars
  • Facings
  • Gussets
  • Linings
  • Overlock
  • Shoulder Pads
  • Yokes
I liked:
  • The quick, easy-to-use format. They certainly don't waste any words. The only text not in a tutorial is the opening page, where the book is explained.
  • Opening any one of the 47 sections to find well-illustrated instructions on sewing techniques.
  • The "Binding" section. It starts with a quick tutorial on making your own binding strips and then covers those icky situations like turning corners and neatly joining binding.
  • The information in the "Layout" section that covers cutting plaids and stripes. It includes gentle reminders like, "Avoid placing a heavy, dominant horizontal stripe at the bust line or waistline." (page 209) Sounds like really good advice to me!
  • The "Pocket" section. I wish I'd had that information the first time I tried to make a self-faced pocket. The illustrations are very clear.
  • That this book even includes a section on "Shoulder Pads". Should they ever come back into high fashion, I'll know just where to turn!

My dislikes:

  • The "Lining" section
  • No "invisible zipper" reference
  • The entire book is dedicated to garment sewing. Sure some techniques could cross-over into home decorating, but all the examples illustrated are garments.
Conclusion: At first glance, this was one I wanted to put back on the shelf. But, as our local branch of the library has such a limited selection, I figured I better at least have a second look. I'm so glad I did! This book is one to have on your shelf if you are moving toward an advanced beginner and intermediate sewing level. Not every sewer has mastered every technique, so having a quick, well-illustrated guide is quite handy. While I had the book for 2 weeks, I managed to use the sections on: Binding Buttonholes Collars Edge Finishes Gussets Hand Sewing Layouts Pressing Vents Would I buy it for myself? I have it "Saved for Later" on my favorite book-buying site. But, I'll probably pass. At least, as long as I can find it on the shelf at the library. Would I buy it for a beginner sewer? Maybe. This is definitely a great addition to the library of an advanced beginner.

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